Mark Dayton’s Public Utilities Commission Blocks 1,500 Jobs

Dayton Appointees Refuse to Authorize Pipeline Projected to Bring Jobs and Economic Development to Minnesota

St. Paul — Thursday evening, Mark Dayton’s liberal appointees on the Public Utilities Commission voted to further delay the Enbridge Sandpiper Line despite the increase in safety and economic benefits the project offers. The pipeline will create roughly 1,500 construction jobs in Minnesota, bringing added economic impact through local hospitality and other businesses providing equipment, supplies and materials, and bringing in as much as $25 million in added revenue to local governments across the region, reducing the property tax burden on home owners, businesses and farmers.

“It is disappointing that rather than look at real solutions Mark Dayton’s liberal allies on the Public Utilities Commission delayed a project that is projected to bring vast economic development across northern Minnesota,” said Minnesota Jobs Coalition chairman Ben Golnik. “At over $2.7 billion this project has the opportunity to provide real economic growth and 1,500 good-paying jobs to hardworking Minnesotans. Mark Dayton and his allies often talk about what they will do to bring jobs to Minnesota, it is unfortunate when they had a chance they balked instead of leading.”

“At a time when Minnesota has shed at least 1,300 private sector jobs in the past six months now is not the time for government bureaucracy and red tape to get in the way of moving Minnesota forward,” concluded Golnik.

Aside from the most recent bureaucratic delay to the Enbridge Sandpiper Line, Mark Dayton has been no friend to economic development, as recently as July stating he believes “Minnesota should eliminate coal use,” pushing against good-paying silica sand mining jobs in Southeastern Minnesota, and refusing to take a stand on the PolyMet project.


Flashback: “[W]e trust that Dayton will honor his pledge to be a champion in the governor’s office for the PolyMet copper/nickel/precious metals project, to be out front working to get the venture finally up and running in 2011 once all the permit work is finalized.” (Editorial Board “We endorse: For governor, Mark Dayton” Mesabi Daily News October 23, 2010)

Now: “I believe it’s my responsibility to remain genuinely undecided and neutral until I know all the facts and all the evidence.” (Minnesota Jobs Coalition Footage from Mark Dayton town hall at the University of Minnesota – Duluth January 2014)

Economic Benefits:

* Increase property tax revenue in each county crossed by the Project. In 2011, Enbridge paid $34 million in Minnesota property taxes. Once Sandpiper is in service, Enbridge’s contributions to Minnesota property taxes may increase by as much as $25 million annually. (Enbridge “Sandpiper Project” Accessed September 12, 2014)
* “[W]orkers stand to get some of the more than 1,500 construction jobs on the project.” (David Shaffer “Minnesota regulators order a broader look at pipeline route” Star Tribune September 12, 2014)
Minnesota has lost 1,300 private sector jobs over the past six months: Bureau of Labor Statistics Private sector jobs numbers from Minnesota.